Arrow McLaren SP unveiled the No. 66 Dallara-Chevrolet that Fernando Alonso will attempt to qualify for the 104th Indianapolis 500. The race will take place Aug. 23 on NBC after being delayed three months by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The car will be sponsored by Ruoff Mortgage, which also was on Takuma Sato’s winning entry in the 2017 Indy 500.
“I’m very happy to finally see the car which I will race in the Indianapolis 500. We had to wait longer than usual to release the livery but that means that engines will be starting soon in Indianapolis,” Alonso said in a statement.
This will be the two-time Formula One champion’s third attempt at starting the Indy 500.
Alonso led 27 laps before finishing 24th because of an engine failure in his 2017 debut, which also marked his first start in the IndyCar NTT Series.
Alonso failed to qualify for the 2019 Indy 500.
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) June 30, 2020
Here’s the release from Arrow McLaren SP on Alonso’s livery for the 104th Indy 500:
Fernando Alonso’s quest for motorsport’s elusive Triple Crown was set to resume more than a month ago at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500. The universe had other plans, with the coronavirus delaying the race until August.
With NTT INDYCAR SERIES action resuming, excitement is building at Arrow McLaren SP, with reveal of the No. 66 Ruoff Mortgage Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.
“I’m very happy to finally see the car which I will race in the Indianapolis 500. We had to wait longer than usual to release the livery but that means that engines will be starting soon in Indianapolis,” said Fernando Alonso.
Alonso, two-time Formula One World Champion and double 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, will be making his second attempt at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. The Spaniard first ran the Indy 500 in 2017, when he led 27 laps before a blown engine caused him to finish 24th but did not stop him from winning Rookie of the Year honors.
“In 2017, Fernando proved that he can not only compete in the race, but that he can fight for the win,” Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt said. “The livery is great. It represents the colors of Ruoff Mortgage while maintaining the livery design of all the Arrow McLaren SP entries. It’s unlike any entry that we have seen, which will make it easy to spot for fans.”
Ruoff Mortgage is no stranger to the Indy 500, having tasted victory in the 2017 race with Takuma Sato, and the entire company cannot wait to give it another shot with a driver of Alonso’s caliber.
“The livery is sleek and smart and boasts our primary branding scheme with that of Fernando’s brand,” said Mark Music, President & CEO of Ruoff Mortgage. “This design will help the No. 66 Ruoff Mortgage car stand out in the crowded field…especially when Fernando crosses the checkered flag. We can’t wait to see it on the track in our own backyard.”
Alonso and his unique livery will join Arrow McLaren SP’s two full-time entries of Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew for the 104th Indianapolis 500 on August 23rd.
“I think it looks great. I think it complements our cars very well,” said Pato O’Ward. “I’m very much looking forward to working with someone who has so much knowledge and so many years in motorsports. I can’t wait to work with each other and push for the strongest package that we can have.”
“Never in my 15 years of racing would I have guessed that I would be racing alongside Fernando as a teammate, let alone at the Indianapolis 500,” added Oliver Askew. “I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from him…not many drivers get that opportunity.”
O’Ward and Askew will surely benefit from a veteran driver with 32 Formula One victories under his belt joining the team, and Alonso looks forward to joining his new teammates.
“I think the atmosphere will be nice with Oliver and Pato, two drivers that I consider really talented,” said Alonso. “I’m confident that Arrow McLaren SP will be competitive. The team has the right experience, well-qualified people, and great resources.”
Alonso’s first shot at the Indy 500 in 2017, and his love for the race, was inspired largely by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, who had a vision of getting the famous brand back in the historic race.
“I’m excited that we get to finally show the fans Fernando’s car that he will drive at the Indianapolis 500 this year,” added Zak Brown “It looks awesome and I can’t wait to see it hit the track in August in Fernando’s hands.”
The Arrow McLaren SP team will see plenty of action between now and the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500, taking to the track next this weekend for the GMR Grand Prix on the IMS Road Course on Saturday, July 4th at 12:00PM ET on NBC.